Cambridge enacts youth curfew

By Dave Ryan
Posted 1/17/23

CAMBRIDGE - On Jan. 9 in a 4-1 vote, the Cambridge City Council approved a youth curfew. Members in favor were the legislation’s sponsor, Lajan Cephas of Ward 2, Jameson Harrington (Ward 3), …

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Cambridge enacts youth curfew

Posted

CAMBRIDGE - On Jan. 9 in a 4-1 vote, the Cambridge City Council approved a youth curfew. Members in favor were the legislation’s sponsor, Lajan Cephas of Ward 2, Jameson Harrington (Ward 3), Sputty Cephas (Ward 4) and Chad Malkus of Ward 5. The dissenting vote came from Ward 1’s Brian Roche.

The new law requires juveniles 15 and younger to be home by 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Any youth violating the curfew will receive a warning. Parents or guardians will be notified, and if the child is not picked up right away, the officer will bring him or her to the police station until the parents arrive. Upon a second offense, the parents will be fined $100, with $200 fines for each subsequent violation. The curfew will go into effect Feb. 1 and last until August.

While there have been questions regarding the usefulness of the curfew, the proposal has supporters. Teresa Stafford, who was recently elected to the Board of Education, posted in December, “The curfew may not be the answer to all our violence issues, but it is a start to help gather information. Don’t rely on other people to decide how to make our community safe. If this curfew saves one life from death, it has done its job. If this curfew exposes one child’s neglect or abuse, it’s done its job. Let’s give our police the authority to help our children without the police being targeted for harassment.”

Mayor Stephen Rideout shared his views in a commentary in the Dorchester Banner in November. He wrote, “While curfew legislation is often well intentioned, it should not be considered until all other options have been discussed and some tried to address the concerns. I believe that, if passed, it will create unintended consequences that have not been fully considered or vetted by the community.”

“Stand up for what is right, not what is popular,” Ms. Stafford said. “Let’s not lose one more life in our community to either death or incarceration.”

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